Wednesday 29 September 2021

Lesvos - Day 13 - 14th September 2021

After a night plagued by micro mosquitos there was no pre breakfast excursion but there was ample recompense with a fine low Black Kite south over the Pela before 8am. It must have arrived yesterday and roosted up somewhere. After some general faffing around I headed up towards Lepetimnos in the hope that I could make up for yesterday's directional faux pas. The high layby was once again filled with construction workers so I dropped down to the lower point and met Raymond De Smet who was already there (along with the local, channel scanning Police).

The view...

The next two hours up to midday were fantastic with little pulses of raptors sneaking in from Turkey just seven miles away and we amassed the following... 10 Honey Buzzard, four probably local Common Buzzard, two Black Kites, three Short-toed Eagles, an adult Lesser Spotted Eagle, juvenile Montagu's Harrier, 12 Marsh Harriers, four Sparrowhawk, three Goshawk and two Hobbies. Three Black Kites on one morning here is quite exceptional I believe. Raymond will have much better images than mine and we made a good team. We found, he snapped, I confirmed in the scope. All the time Bee-eaters streamed in and several hundred were seen and heard while Ravens were constant companions in the airspace.


Lesser Spotted Eagle

Honey Buzzard

A rather chunky six fingered Honey Buzzard...

Marsh Harrier

Marsh Harrier


Skala Sykaminias

The sea was calm and there were many boats out fishing and it was good to find several small groups of Yelkouan Shearwaters at last as they fed with Yellow-legged Gulls on a bait ball near the surface. I thought Dolphins would appear but they did not so perhaps a Swordfish hunting deeper down.

Back home for lunch and then north late afternoon to visit Perivolis Monastery again and while there was some kitten caring going on, I went back to sit by the river and watch birds coming into bathe. It was a superb half hour and although the light was awkward I had 14 species drop in including a fine first winter Red-breasted Flycatcher that I did not notice until it flew up revealing the white tail patches. It dried itself deep in cover before flicking away not to be seen again although I could hear it rattling from further up the slope. There were four different Common Redstarts, many Spotted Flycatchers, a few Warblers, Cirl Buntings, White Wagtail and plenty of finches which included at least four different Hawfinches. All appeared to be immature birds and these were the best views I have ever had on the island. Middle Spotted Woodpeckers were bounding around and several Persian Squirrels scurried between the trees.

Hawfinches are amazingly cryptic when on the ground

Common Redstart

From here I dropped down towards the Ancient Antissa track and slowly bumped through passing quite a few Red-backed Shrikes, Red-rumped Swallows, plenty of Chats and Spot Flys, Cirl Buntings and Willow Warblers before a stop for the view from Agriosikos. I am sure I could make out the blob of Pelicans from up there way off on the Salt pans!

Towards Gavathas

Red-rumped Swallow

The Ancient Antissa fields


The view from Agriosikos

A pre-dinner circuit of Lotzaria gave lovely encounters of Red-backed Shrikes in golden light, four Buzzards on the wires, a solitary Turtle Dove and pruuking Bee-eaters. A White Stork was having a preen on one of water pump sheds and was completely unconcerned by our presence. A last look at the Tsiknias Ford saw Green Sandpiper, Greenshank and Little Ringed Plovers in the half light and the Kingfishers zipped through once again. The Bats were now out and dinner beckoned for one last time at the Dionysis.

Red-backed Shrike

Red-backed Shrike

White Stork - ACV

Half Moon - ACV

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